In response to crappy shots of the Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler and 2012 Moto Guzzi California leaked from the Piaggio Group’s Monte Carlo dealer conference on Friday, the company just issued these official photos and some limited details. We’d speculated that the California would adopt the same 1,151cc v-twin as other Guzzi models like the Norge and Stelvio, but instead it’s using a new, 1,400cc unit that here, in high-res, is shockingly nice looking. In fact that’s true of the whole bike, the California is damned pretty. Ever think I’d say that about a cruiser?
Here’s the extent of what Piaggio’s officially releasing about these new models:
“The new California prototype, with an original 1400cc transverse V90 twin-cylinder engine, carries on the tradition established by a bike acclaimed in five continents for its comfort, reliability and performance, delivering a re-styling that enhances the architecture of the powertrain and the comfort assured by a generously sized saddle and tank. Fitted neatly around the cylinder unit, the tank heightens the impact of the new valve covers, helping to create a new style element on this irresistible California. All the technical components –wheels, brakes, suspension – are new too, proclaiming the California’s membership of an eagerly awaited new generation of Moto Guzzi bikes.”
“Much more of a classic but equally fascinating, the Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler is built on on the famous frame of the V7 Classic fitted with a 750cc small-block engine. Chrome trim, spoked wheels and sports tyres create a bike that, in the 1960s, would have qualified as a "Regularity" model like the famous 175 Lodola, which this Scrambler recalls with its low headlamp and integrated instrument panel. The exhaust system with its two raised side-by-side silencers is a distinctive feature of this Moto Guzzi Scrambler.”
The current Guzzi California is something of an oddity. It’s a cruiser, yes, but its riding position wasn’t designed by a comic book artist, it’s anything but brash and its engine isn’t one million ccs of flaccid performance. This new California appears to continue that restrained, practical approach. The Tonti frame is most likely gone, but there’s a nice nod to it in the continuous horizontal line along the bottom of the tank and seat unit. The shape of that tank is simply gorgeous and looks to be suitably large for touring. Badging is subtle and restrained. The best part? The only chrome we spot is on the pillion grab handle.
Neat components that catch our eye are the matte silver finned wheels, radial front brake calipers, black valve covers (swoon) and the roadster-style seat. This is shaping up to be a real motorcycle.
Also uncharacteristically, we’re a little less excited by the Scrambler, largely because it appears to be the result of crashing through a dealer parts department. The model seems to be delineated by fork gaiters, black rubber knee pads on the still-shapely tank and a set of arrow pipes that still reminds us of Ben’s bike in Full Throttle in their ridiculously huge proportions and stick-outeyness. The dark yellow paint looks nice though.